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Every camera has different color capabilities. No camera is the same, although it may only be the slightest difference. The color capabilities of prosumer-level cameras directly relate to the camera’s color depth and the number of bits a camera has.

Throughout this post, we’ll dive into what exactly makes certain camera’s color capabilities so great and where some cameras are lacking in this department. From Sony A7S MK11 to Canon 5D MK IV, we’ll dissect it all.

So, without further ado, here is everything you need to know about prosumer-level cameras and their color capabilities:

An Overview of Color Depth

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Before we dive into a few specific camera’s color capabilities, we need to lay down the ground rules of color depth. Simply put, color depth is the highest number of colors that can be displayed on a camera’s screen. Today’s standard for True Color, or the bit-rate necessary to display photorealistic images, is 24-bit.  

So, for example, an 18-bit camera is going to have less saturated colors than a 24-bit camera. The more bits a camera has the more colors present. Color depth has a huge effect on items with complex color combinations, like skin tone.

Sony A7S MK I

Bit Rate: 24.8 bits

The Sony A7S MK has impressive color capabilities. When using this camera, be aware of oversaturation. This camera does pretty well with various skin tones, but as with any camera, be wary of over saturation. If your white balance settings are adjusted properly, the Sony A7S MK does great with skin tone.

Like other cameras, this model of Sony has slight shifts in hues. Cyan will appear bluer, orange strays to yellow, and yellow to green. The Sony A7S MK is also excellent under harsh outdoor lighting as opposed to indoor lighting which is this camera’s weak spot. This auto white balance on this Sony results in an orangey hue.

Overall, this camera has solid color capabilities but there’s always room for improvement.

Sony A7S MK II Color Capabilities

Bit Rate: 24.9 bits

This model is the younger sibling of the Sony A7S MK. Overall this model is known to have average saturation levels and color accuracy, but still a big step up from the older model. Like it’s sibling, the Sony AKS MK II does great with skin tones when adjusted properly. It’s also extremely similar in its hues - cyan similar to blue, orange similar to yellow, yellow to green, etc.

The real improvements in this model of Sony can be seen in the camera’s indoor lighting capabilities. The Sony A7S MK II requires fewer adjustments and provides better color accuracy. It also performs great in low light and harsh outdoor lighting.

Panasonic GH5 Color Capabilities

Bit Rate: 23.9 bits

Don’t let the bit rate of this camera fool you, this camera is great with color. This Panasonic model has above average saturation levels along with above average hue accuracy. Oversaturation can be tricky with this camera on lighter skin tones, but this can easily be fixed by adjusting to manual white balance.

Like other cameras, this model shifts cyan towards blue, yellow towards green, etc. This camera also does not perform great under indoor, incandescent lighting. With the camera’s pre-set incandescent white balance, moderate orange hues are present. These hues are easily suppressed with the AWBc setting. The manual and auto white balance settings produce extremely accurate colors.  

Canon 5D MK IV Color Capabilities

Bit Rate: 24.8 bits

With this camera, you can expect accuracy in color/hues and extremely realistic saturation levels. Skin tones are relatively accurate with natural hues. Hues, in general, are extremely accurate with the Canon 5D MK IV camera. Although the usual shifts in hues are still present, this camera is relatively reliable.

Indoors, this camera does produce warm, reddish overtones. This can be balanced out easily with Canon’s manual and auto white balance options. Outdoors this camera performs well, with great color range and exposure accuracy.

Overall, any one of these cameras is a good pick if you’re trying to get the most accurate color possible. Eleven04 carries each and every one of these cameras. Browse our selection today or reach out to us for more information on any of these cameras!